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uniformitarianism

/ (ˌjuːnɪˌfɔːmɪˈtɛərɪəˌnɪzəm) /
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noun
the concept that the earth's surface was shaped in the past by gradual processes, such as erosion, and by small sudden changes, such as earthquakes, of the type acting today rather than by the sudden divine acts, such as the flood survived by Noah (Genesis 6–8), demanded by the doctrine of catastrophism
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Scientific definitions for uniformitarianism

uniformitarianism
[ yōō′nə-fôr′mĭ-târē-ə-nĭz′əm ]

The theory that all geologic phenomena may be explained as the result of existing forces having operated uniformly from the origin of the Earth to the present time. See Note at Lyell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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